Anthem, Inc. (NYSE:ANTM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Anthem’s shares have outperformed the industry in the last year. The company’s diverse product portfolio has helped in improving underwriting results. Its strategic acquisitions, divestitures and ACO arrangements  pave the way for long-term growth. Its rising level of medical membership continues to boost the top line. Its strong capital position backs effective capital deployment. Its frequent share buyback programs and regular dividend payments primarily aim at enhancing shareholders’ value. The company has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2017 earnings being revised upward over the last 60 days. Followed by strong results in first half of 2017, the company has raised the earnings and revenue guidance for 2017. However, loss incurred on public exchange business continues to bother. Also rising level of debt keeps draining the margins. It will release third quarter results on Oct 25, 2017 before the market opens.”

Several other brokerages have also commented on ANTM. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and set a $204.00 price target on shares of Anthem in a research note on Sunday, August 20th. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on Anthem from $196.00 to $201.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 17th. Cantor Fitzgerald restated a “buy” rating and set a $215.00 price target on shares of Anthem in a research note on Thursday, September 14th. BidaskClub lowered Anthem from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Credit Suisse Group began coverage on Anthem in a research note on Wednesday, July 12th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $195.00 target price on the stock. Ten research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $187.50.

Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported $3.37 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $3.23 by $0.14. The firm had revenue of $22.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $22.25 billion. Anthem had a return on equity of 12.93% and a net margin of 3.24%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $3.33 earnings per share.

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In related news, Director Julie A. Hill sold 524 shares of Anthem stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $190.80, for a total transaction of $99,979.20. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 36,924 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,045,099.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Joseph Swedish sold 21,125 shares of Anthem stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $197.00, for a total value of $4,161,625.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 87,668 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $17,270,596. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 51,901 shares of company stock valued at $10,034,202. Corporate insiders own 0.36% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. lifted its holdings in shares of Anthem by 0.5% during the second quarter. C M Bidwell & Associates Ltd. now owns 1,070 shares of the company’s stock worth $201,000 after purchasing an additional 5 shares during the period. Advisory Services Network LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Anthem by 0.3% during the third quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 2,208 shares of the company’s stock worth $277,000 after purchasing an additional 6 shares during the period. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America lifted its holdings in shares of Anthem by 0.7% during the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,016 shares of the company’s stock worth $168,000 after purchasing an additional 7 shares during the period. Savant Capital LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Anthem by 0.3% during the third quarter. Savant Capital LLC now owns 3,952 shares of the company’s stock worth $495,000 after purchasing an additional 10 shares during the period. Finally, Salem Investment Counselors Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Anthem by 1.4% during the second quarter. Salem Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 710 shares of the company’s stock worth $134,000 after purchasing an additional 10 shares during the period. 87.65% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Anthem Company Profile

Anthem, Inc is a health benefits company. The Company operates through three segments: Commercial and Specialty Business, Government Business and Other. It offers a spectrum of network-based managed care plans to large and small employer, individual, Medicaid and Medicare markets. Its managed care plans include preferred provider organizations; health maintenance organizations; point-of-service plans; indemnity plans and other hybrid plans, including consumer-driven health plans; and hospital only and limited benefit products.

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Analyst Recommendations for Anthem (NYSE:ANTM)

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